Ha Giang Spring Festival
Vietnam has 54 ethnic minorities, each with its own dialects, costumes, and cultures, living scattered over the country for centuries. Despite such differences these groups have something in common to share and enjoy. Like many other Asian countries, every year, people in Ha Giang start with the cultivation of a new crop of wet rice – the main source of food in Vietnam – which is celebrated in the form of religious rituals by ethnic groups to express their gratitude and respect to the gods.
Ha Giang Forest Festival
Although the Pu Peo is ethnic people in Ha Giang, they still preserved many liturgies and a folklore treasure. Along with other liturgies are held in the New Year, people prays dryad for the green of forest, security for people in the forest fest. Also, from this ceremony, the forest has the Pu Peo protected very well, especially, the sacred forest. They protect the forest in order to have water for farming and have wood for making house. The fest takes place in the forbidden forest, the sorcerer faces in a big tree and bow in the ground in order to pray dryad for protecting their village.
The Pu Peo always understands that preserving forest is keeping water. All thing were displayed on the banana leaf forest, the altar was constructed of green bamboo with nearly 2 meters height, facing the mountain. The square glutinous rice pounded to a pulp to make cakes, sliced carefully. On each piece of rice is a small boiled egg. It the bottom of the altar, there has 2 chickens which are still alive. Around the altar is bottle wine and bowl.
Ha Giang Fire Dancing Festival
Ha Giang Fire Dancing Festival is considered as the new rice festival of the Pa Then. Fire dance fest starts in mid-October lunar calendar and lasts through New Year. To start the fire festival, it must have a sorcerer do liturgy. The rite includes incense, a chicken, 10 cups of wine, paper money. A big fire was burned and the sorcerer begins the rite. The time of liturgy lasts 1-2 hours before starting fire dance festival. When sorcerer beats the guitar, each youth will sit facing with sorcerer. It is the time for dancing fire. After that, he jumped into the fire without fear or sensation. Each people jumps into the fire for 3-4 minutes, then break up.
One people can join the dance several times, thus showing the strength and agility of them. Fire dance is only for men and these guys always get the admiration, respect of everyone. If visitors want to feel the mystery and sacred festival, you can join the fire dance of the Pa Then.
Currently, in the village of Pa Then, fire dance festival still preserved intact, regularly held on the occasion of New Year, it is one of the focal point of tourists when they want to explore unique culture of Pa Then ethnic in particular and the northern ethnic in general.
Ha Giang Praying for Rain Festival
Praying for rain festival of the Lo Lo is common religious in agriculture. On the festival occasions, almost all activities of the Lo Lo are aimed at praying for rain. They wish the rain down to the Meo Vac field and they pray for a prosperous forever. Every March, when the climate is dry and trees lack water, Lo Lo ethnic people in Meo Vac, Ha Giang Province often held a praying for rain festival. With typical rituals, the festival, handed down from generation to generation, is also an opportunity to meet one another.
The Lo Lo ethnic people believe that after organizing the festival within three to nine days, it will rain. The festival is divided into two parts including the ritual and the festival. The ritual is made with the participation of villagers. Live objects such as dogs and chicken will be taken to the praying place and worshipped twice. After being used for worshipping for the first time, village’s boys will slaughter them and use the meat for worshipping again.